Sunday, January 22, 2012

What does it take?

We're starting to wonder just what it takes to attract the attention of the Michigan Parole Board, after the board just blew off one of the strongest applications for commutation of sentence that we have seen.

James should be out of prison anyway. He has turned his life around, has been more than a model prisoner, and has served 28 years on a life sentence for assault with intent. Our sources say that's enough time for a prisoner who has not been a problem.

But there are other factors in this case.

This marks the first time I have ever seen the prosecutor who put the man away now lead the charge to free him. But that's what has happened. The Chief Trial Attorney for the Muskegon County Prosecutor's Office in 1986 who obtained the conviction against James now wants him freed. And that's because James has not only become a model prisoner. James has decided, despite severe and continued threats, to help the state. And so, time after time, in case after case, he has provided invaluable testimony, with no promise of any gifts or favors. He just helped because he thought that's what good people do. So here we have the prosecutor writing a three-page letter to the Parole Board asking for serious consideration of this application. The app is also supported by various former FBI and State Police Personnel, as well as the Genesee County Prosecutor's Office. And yet it slid right past the Parole Board, on its way to the Governor where it is sure to be rejected. UNLESS...UNLESS, we can catch someone's attention in the guv's office to take a look at it. He could then send it back to the Parole Board for further review. And that's what we're hoping for. That's what we're praying for, and asking prayers for.

In an important murder case in the Flint area, James was promised an effort to get him released with credit for time served for his testimony. The testimony resulted in a conviction, but James never got his credit for time served.

Now it's time for justice behind bars. James deserves a fair shake. Your prayers and any other means of support will be very much appreciated.

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